Germany suspects anti-G8 groups of terrorism
9 May 2007, Hamburg (dpa) - Hundreds of German police searched Wednesday the homes and offices of militants planning to protest against globalization at next month's G8 summit on the Baltic coast. Prosecutors said they might charge two separate groups with terrorism after petrol-bomb attacks over the past year on homes and cars of industrialists and officials in Berlin and Hamburg. Nobody has been wounded in any of the attacks, which mainly happen late at night, but the damage has been high. In related eff
9 May 2007
Hamburg (dpa) - Hundreds of German police searched Wednesday the homes and offices of militants planning to protest against globalization at next month's G8 summit on the Baltic coast.
Prosecutors said they might charge two separate groups with terrorism after petrol-bomb attacks over the past year on homes and cars of industrialists and officials in Berlin and Hamburg.
Nobody has been wounded in any of the attacks, which mainly happen late at night, but the damage has been high.
In related efforts to quell violent protests at the June 6-8 summit, Germany announced Wednesday it was reimposing border checks on a case-by-case basis for the next few weeks.
Normally German borders are open and passengers on flights from many European Union countries, the so-called Schengen nations, do not need to show passports.
The Interior Ministry said it needed to stop potential offenders, mainly opponents of globalization, from entering Germany to protest at the summit.
The checks would be only occasional and only to an extent necessary for security.
Wednesday's raids, on 40 premises in six states of northern Germany, were conducted by nearly 900 police.
Prosecutors said they had identified 18 persons so far in one group, which had claimed responsibility under a variety of names for 15 bombings or other vandalism in Hamburg and Berlin, prosecutors said.
That cluster has been dubbed the "no name" bombers by the prosecutors. The shadowy leftists accuse the Group of Eight (G8) nations of oppressing poor countries.
Three persons in the other cluster, which calls itself the Militant Groups (MG) and aims to establish a communist world order, were accused of two explicitly anti-G8 attacks, and 25 attacks on property in all since 2001.
MG often tries to burn down social-welfare offices, accusing officials of meanness to the German poor.
The hard left is planning to disrupt the summit of Russia and the G7 western industrialized nations, to be hosted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the expensive beach resort of Heiligendamm.
The federal prosecutors in Karlsruhe said the raids Wednesday were aimed at collecting documents and other evidence.
Attac, a European organization that opposes globalization, accused prosecutors of "attempting to criminalize the entire spectrum of G8 opponents." Attac said none of its members were raided.
German police expect 50,000 to 100,000 protesters to gather next month near Heiligendamm. Most of the protesters are expected to peacefully listen to anti-G8 songs at a pop concert.
But police unofficially estimate that 3 to 5 per cent of protesters do not subscribe to non-violence and may try to evade police road-blocks and fences and invade the summit.
One anti-G8 group, Campinski, says it knows of at least 35 attacks, including the throwing of paint-bombs, since summer 2005 against business and government in Germany on account of the G8.
The home and cars of a senior Finance Ministry official, a Foreign Ministry guesthouse and public offices have been among the targets.
Among the premises to be raided Wednesday were the Rote Flora, the headquarters building of anarchists in Hamburg, and the Mehringhof Culture Centre and Bethanien Art Centre, both radical meeting-spots in Berlin.
Subject: German news